Earthquakes, storms, heat waves and floods have been leading causes of death from natural disasters during the past year, affecting all regions around the world. The most recent figures show that natural disasters caused losses of $131.7 billion in 2018 and affected millions of people around the world. While Mother Nature is unpredictable, several technologies promise to help with forecasting and prevention and allow responders to act sooner rather than later.
In 2015, the United Nations said that about 90% of all natural disasters are weather related. To help reduce the loss of life, scientists today employ a wide array of technological tools to better anticipate natural disasters and improve weather forecasting.
“One of the key things that we are always looking to do is to enhance prediction of weather globally in order to reduce those impacts that it has on the population, allowing populations to be more resilient in the face of high impact weather,” says Kevin Petty, director of Science & Forecast Operations from The Weather Company, a subsidiary of IBM.
With technological advancements such as artificial intelligence and machine learning making it easier for scientists to process and interpret a large amount of data, weather prediction and its impact on populations can now be better addressed.
The following is a look at the technology options available for counteracting the top five natural disasters that caused the biggest toll on human lives last year, all solutions that are either being used or are on the verge of being deployed.